Sunday 10 April 2016

Obama: 'No political influence' In Clinton Email Server Investigation

Barack Obama has said there is no political influence in any investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
“I guarantee there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI,” Obama said. “Guaranteed. Period.”
Obama, who also said Clinton “would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy”, was speaking in a pre-recorded interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, his first with the conservative-slanted channel since January 2014.
He also discussed his administration’s policy and success on terror – seeking to contrast it with inflammatory statements from Republican presidential candidates – and his nomination of a judge to succeed Antonin Scalia on the US supreme court.

Clinton’s emails are the subject of an FBI investigation, and the issue has dogged her on the campaign trail and in polls as she seeks to succeed Obama in the White House.
Obama pointed to a problem of semantics in how the government does its business.

“I handle a lot of classified information,” he said. “There’s classified and then there’s classified. There’s stuff that is really ‘top secret’ top secret, and there’s stuff going out to the president or secretary of state, stuff you don’t want on the transom, or going out over the wires” that is basically “open-sourced” material.

“I also think it is important to keep this in perspective,” Obama said. “This is somebody who has served her country for four years as secretary of state, and did an outstanding job.”

He added, though, that Clinton herself had acknowledged her use of the server was a mistake: “There’s a carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned.”

Wallace also questioned the president about terrorism and the threat of attacks on the US and Americans abroad.

“I don’t think we make too big a deal of the terror threat,” Obama said. “My No1 priority is going after Isil,” he added, using an acronym for the Islamic State militant group. “My point is how we do it is important. That we have to make sure that we abide by our laws. We have to make sure that we abide by our values.”

Obama then criticized Republican candidates for president.
In a reference to Ted Cruz, he said: “When I hear some candidates saying we should carpet-bomb innocent civilians, that is not a productive solution.”
Regarding Donald Trump, he said: “When I hear someone saying that we should ban all Muslims from entering the country, that is not a good solution.”
“There isn’t a president who has taken more terrorists off the map,” Obama said. “I’m the guy who calls the families, or meets with them or hugs them or tries to comfort a mom or a dad or a husband or a kid after a terrorist attack … this is my No1 job.”
He then repeated an argument he made after last month’s Brussels attacks, which occurred while he was on a historic diplomatic trip to Cuba: “It has been my view consistently [that] the job of the terrorists in their minds is to induce panic, induce fear, get societies to change you they are.”
But, he said: “You can’t change us. You can kill some of us, but we will hunt you down and we will get you. And in the meantime, just as we did in Boston after the marathon bombing, we’re going to go to a ball game. That’s the message of resilience.”
The interview was taped at the University of Chicago Law School, where Obama taught for a decade and recently spoke about his supreme court nomination, Merrick Garland. Wallace asked about that issue first: Republican opposition to any hearing for any nominee.
“I think that things’ll evolve as people get familiar with Judge Garland’s record,” Obama said, “as it becomes apparent that the overwhelming majority of the American people believe that the president nominates somebody to the supreme court and the Senate should do its job and give him a hearing.
“The questioning that’s being done privately with Judge Garland should be done publicly, in a hearing. Democrats and Republicans have gotten into a fix inside the Senate in which the confirmation promise becomes too much of a tit for tat.
“Never has a Republican president’s nominee not received a hearing, not received a vote. I don’t object to Republicans saying ‘Merrick Garland may be a fine man, may be a fine judge, but I disagree with him philosophically.’ I think if they go through the process they won’t have a rationale to defeat him.”

Obama said he would stand with Garland through to the end of his term, no matter what the Senate did or who won the presidential election.

Reference: theguardian

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